Global NCAP, an independent safety regulator has released its crash results some time back. And the results are not flattering. Datsun Go, an entry level hatchback introduced in the Indian market some months ago has failed miserably; scoring a perfect zero. Yes, it has received no stars out of the maximum five stars which are given to the safest car.
In what is a first for the agency, Max Mosley, Chairman of Global NCAP has written to Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO of Renault-Nissan alliance which owns Datsun. There is nothing new in the agency writing a letter to the head of an automobile company, what is written in it grabs attention. Mosley has made a recommendation to Renault-Nissan asking the company to stop selling the Go in India and other markets.
The letter states, “It is extremely disappointing that Nissan has authorised the launch of a brand new model that is so clearly sub-standard. As presently engineered the Datsun Go will certainly fail to pass the United Nation’s frontal impact regulation. In these circumstances I would urge Nissan to withdraw the Datsun Go from sale in India pending an urgent redesign of the car’s body-shell”
NCAP has given a very poor rating to the Go and has even gone on record saying that the addition of airbags will not better the rating due to an unstable body structure. The dummy readings taken during the test showed that the driver’s head made direct contact with the steering wheel and dashboard, increasing the risk of a serious or life-threatening injury. The torso as well as the legs also sustained grave injuries.
Mosley further added, “Given Carlos Ghosn’s responsibilities as Chairman and CEO of Nissan and President of the European Car Manufacturers Association, he should now demonstrate leadership both in Nissan and on behalf of the vehicle industry generally that corresponds to the UN’s legitimate expectation that automobile safety should be improved during the Decade of Action”
It might seem that Datsun is the only manufacturer selling cars with no regards for safety. But, that is not the case. Maruti’s top-selling Swift hatchback has also scored zero stars. Prior to this result, cars such as Maruti Suzuki Alto 800, Ford Figo, Volkswagen Polo, Hyundai i10, and Tata Nano also scored nada. This highlights the total, complete, abject, apathetic attitude of carmakers towards safety and protection of their customers. They have time and again responded to such findings by stating that their cars meet the required local regulations mandated by the government. The Indian government has also woken up to the fact that cars in India are not safe enough. There have been talks about ABS and airbags being made compulsory by next year which should help things a bit; but we still have a long way to go before we reach European safety levels. Let’s hope that steps are taking by the car manufacturers to improve accident protection in their cars after this report.
What do you feel about these results and the safety quotient of your cars? Do you think they provide adequate safety? Pen your thoughts in the comments section below.